Got Rhythm—and Blues
A Chart Topper
“Fingertips” was released to the public as a single in the summer of 1963. Stevie had just turned thirteen years old. The Hitsville USA producers watched as the single sold thousands of copies. “Fingertips” rose up the charts and hit number one. It stayed at number one for fifteen weeks. It eventually sold more than one million copies. No one expected such a huge response to the single. Little Stevie Wonder was an instant celebrity.
“Fingertips” was the highest selling record of Berry Gordy's producing career. The single made Hitsville USA a sudden success. Within a year, Gordy changed the record studio's name from Hitsville USA to Motown. Motown is a combined name of Motor Town. Motor Town was Detroit's nickname because the auto industry made most of America's cars there. Motown records would soon sign some of the greatest recording artists known throughout the world.
Meanwhile, Motown needed to send Stevie Wonder out on tour. They also wanted him to record more songs. An album needed to be released soon to back up the single “Fingertips.” The concert tour would promote the album. This was all such a rush for everyone at Motown, including Stevie Wonder. Stevie tried to take all of this excitement in stride. He was happy that a single of his had finally done well. More important, he was singing and writing songs, and was surrounded by people who understood him. They wanted to help him become a successful musician.